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American Born Chinese - Essay Example

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Mingfei Chen English 110 Professor Hibble Protest Features in the text American Born Chinese There are various types of literary works that are written daily. They range from educative works, responses or critiques, argumentative essays to protest writings…
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American Born Chinese
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Download file to see previous pages They are intended to change the whole viewpoint that the readers have about that particular scenario. These writings are always radical in nature and tend to convince the reader to see things from the same viewpoint. One such text is American Born Chinese, a 2008 graphic novel by Gene Luen Yang and Lark Pien that contains a great deal of protest. It can be easily noticed in the plot development of the story, and this will be the basis of discussion in this paper. The story begins with the monkeys hanging on the trees; generally, one would say that this is the nature of monkeys. They are supposed to live on trees. However, according to Yang, there is one monkey, the king of monkeys that has ruled the other monkeys for many years. At this time, he has mastered the ways of the gods; these ways are the eight Kung-fu disciplines. As a result of his reaching, he yearns to leave the monkeys behind and join the ranks of the gods. This is the first act of protest that we encounter. One could comfortably say that it is part of monkeys’ nature to stay on trees and behave like any other animal (Yang 4). However, here we encounter a monkey that wants to protest against all that and elevate itself to another level. It wants to behave like a god. In addition to this, the monkey wants to protest against the true nature of the monkeys by passing a rule that all monkeys must wear shoes just like human beings. This is another protest because generally, monkeys and all other animals do not wear shoes. For the monkeys, this would even make their life harder since they cannot climb trees while wearing shoes. The monkey becomes arrogant to other gods when he starts to demand that he should be treated like an equal. The leader of the gods, Tze-Yo-Tzuh, tells him, ‘you are what I created you to be.’ Tze-Yo-Tzuh further tells him that he made him from the rock (Yang 7). The monkey challenges the gods’ king to prove this and tries to run away, but the king catches him. After learning that he cannot change who he is, he still refuses to repent, and the king of the gods buries him under a mountain rock till a time when he realizes and accepts who he is. Here, Yang tries to prove that when we try to be different persons from what we are we will only end up hurting ourselves. Another protest that we encounter in this comical novel arises from a character, Jin Wang. At this point, Yang introduces us to a boy born of immigrant parents in the United States. His life in the states is virtually peaceful; however, when his family moves from San Francisco to a white dominated suburban region, his life changes. He finds that he is the only Chinese in the whole school, and this fact makes him a subject to the prejudice (Yang 31). This is the point where he begins protesting against his culture. He constantly has to tell the other children in the school that he was born in America, and that his family does not eat dogs. Yang, at this point exhibits another protest, which is against his culture. Jin Wang does not want to be associated with the Chinese way of life yet this is his culture (Yang 31). Jin Wang struggles to fit in his white peers’ way of life in every aspect. He even eats sandwiches (Yang 37), food that is not common for his culture. Jin struggles to be like the whites even when he is not in the school environment. This is evident in the conversation that he has with an old lady about being what he wants to be. The lady replies by telling him, ‘ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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American Born Chinese By Gene Luen Yang

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